There are many aspects of the Christian faith that appeal to me, but the knowledge and awareness of a living God who is present at all times is a great comfort. We talk of God being omnipresent, which means that God is present everywhere at the same time. This knowledge blows my mind, but then I think that my thinking is limited by my human nature and realise that nothing is impossible for God.
During the Easter season we focus on the presence of the risen Lord Jesus. Hence today, a couple of weeks after Easter Day, we still have readings that focus on the risen Lord. Our Easter season in the Church continues until Pentecost (50 days after Easter). We might have a special focus on the resurrection for this season, but, of course, in truth, the risen Lord Jesus is with us constantly.
When we think of resurrection we must not think solely of an event in history. It was set in history, but it has an impact today. We celebrate the resurrection every time there is a baptism, whenever we celebrate Holy Commun-ion. When I wake of a morning and sit on the edge of my bed I like to say, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps 118) and, for me, it is a reminder that the Lord Jesus is present and will be with me through-out the day.
All the above is about me! It is one side of the coin so to speak. The resurrec-tion was part of Jesus’ experience, who was willing to enter the world at his incarnation and share life with us. His resurrection declares his ultimate triumph over sin and death. (1 Corinthians 15.54-57)
Now, back to me – all this knowledge gives me hope that I am living the eternal life with God right now and I look forward to the time when I will enter his heavenly realm and experience an even greater closeness with God.
A friend and colleague sent me this cross. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was it mocking the cross? Then I thought about crosses we wear around our necks. I thought of crosses studded with diamonds and pearls. They have come along way from the cross Jesus was crucified on. I thought of the crosses on hot cross buns. What have we done with the cross? Yet surely the cross can be something joyful to us, who know that Jesus’ death on the cross brought forgiveness to us and eternal life.
This particular cross reminded me that this year Easter Day, the day of the resurrection, falls on 1st April, which is April Fool’s Day. This cross is full of clowns, fools.
In Paul’s firsts letter to the Corinthians he said, “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1.18
Here Paul recognises that without God’s grace to understand the resurrection it is foolishness. God has granted us understanding. We can rejoice. We know that the doom and gloom of Good Friday is not the end of the story.
I do believe in the physical bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus. I know this is difficult for many people. For many it is a science/faith question. The resurrection might seem improbable and so it is not accepted as true. But I take comfort from Anselm of Canterbury, who said, "I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but rather, I believe in order that I may understand"
The last time Easter fell on April 1 was 62 years ago in 1956. The next time the two holidays will converge will be in 2029 and then again in 2040.
In the meantime, I can smile at this cross and see something of the joy and fun that is the whole of the Easter season.
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.
All Souls Sandringham